The Wildcats fought a tough battle Saturday evening in their second matchup of the season with Sam Houston State and ultimately fell short 90-85 in a classic double overtime game.
In regulation, the second game was almost identical to the first one in Huntsville as ACU fell behind 37-23 at halftime. In the first 13 minutes of the second half, however, the Wildcats outscored Sam Houston 25-10 to take a one-point lead.
With 23 seconds left, the Bearkats led 66-61. Senior guard Jaylen Franklin converted on a free throw and redshirt junior guard B.J. Maxwell made a jumper to then bring ACU within two.
After a free throw by Sam Houston, junior guard Payten Ricks splashed a three-pointer in the closing seconds to tie the game at 67 and go to overtime.
Ricks said he was thankful to knock down an important shot for his team.
“Coach drew up a play for me to get the ball and Jay Frank set the screen and we executed,” Ricks said. “It looked like the ball was going left and going to hit the rim and bounce off but thankfully it went in. I was humbled immediately and pointed up to signify that it’s all for Gods glory, not mine. He’s taught me that this year and I’m thankful I get to represent Jesus on the court and worship Him through basketball.”
In overtime, the men were up 73-71, but Sam Houston guard Marcus Harris was a menace for the Wildcats as he hit a three-pointer to keep the Bearkats in the game at 74-73 with 1:20 left.
Sam Houston was able to tie the game at 76 with a layup in the last few seconds and forced a second overtime.
Harris continued giving the men trouble as he posted ten points in the second overtime period, including two threes. His second three-pointer put Sam Houston ahead 86-83, which was essentially the game-winner after ACU totaled 85 points in the game.
Franklin put on another impressive scoring performance with 20 points in the game along with six rebounds and three assists. Ricks finished with 14 points including four three-pointers. He said his team is ready to move forward after the loss and focus on what’s ahead.
“We never quit. This team has been that way all year, we don’t give up when we get down by a big margin of points,” Ricks said. “We stuck together and kept the locker room positive during halftime and gave ourselves a chance to win. I love this team, we are closer than any team I’ve ever been a part of. We look forward to seeing a crowd like that again, they made a huge impact on the momentum change in the second half.”
ACU is now 8-3 in conference and 19-5 overall after the loss. Sam Houston remains undefeated in Southland at 11-0 and 16-8 overall.
The men will next be on the road to face Nicholls Wednesday at 7 p.m.